Monday, January 28, 2008

January Daring Baker Challenge ~ Lemon Meringue Pie

The first dish that my mom let me take control of for the holidays was Lemon Meringue pie. I was about 12 maybe 13 years old and she was making her usual rolls, fruit salad, and pumpkin pie when I was hounding her about what I could do so she told me to make the Lemon Meringue pie ( she like the raves that she got from the rolls and pumpkin pie and was not about to give them up). I was excited and ran to the recipe box to dig out that little card with the butter and lemon curd stains on it.

Mom made the crust because she was making crust for the other pie so that I did not have to do, but I went to work separating the eggs, and measuring out the sugar and other ingredients (If I remember correctly we used lemon juice from a green jar.

I cooked the eggs and sugar on the stove over VERY low heat until it was thick and I did not scramble any of the egg yolk and when it was thick I poured it into the pic shell that mom had prepared for me. i whipped up the eggs beautifully and had so much fun making all the curly peaks on the pie with the meringue.

That year I got all the complements on my pie, I think Mom may have been a little jealous. Only 4 short years later my Mom was gone.
Making this pie with my children was a joy as always. I found the crust hard to manage and tough; however, the lemon filling was lovely and tart and the meringue was the best I have ever had.

I hope that I have created memories for my kids to carry with them.

You can see more Daring Baker Pies by following the links at the blogroll.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

For the Crust:

¾ cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces

2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar

¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt

cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:

2 cups (475 mL) water

1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar

½ cup (120 mL) cornstarch

5 egg yolks, beaten

¼ cup (60 mL) butter

¾ cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the Meringue:

5 egg whites, room temperature

½ tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar

¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt

½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract

¾ cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

For the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of ⅛ inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about ½ inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling
: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.

Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.


glamah16 said...

Its funny how recipes can trigger memories. Your Mom trained you well.And now your showing your children. Well done.

Big Boys Oven said...

I am sure it is fun to bake with the kids! lovely tart!

winedeb said...

This was my mom's favorite pie and lots of memories attached with it. So fun to see you are sharing memories with the kids!
Your pie looks great Shayne! Crust looks good too!

Warda said...

Lemon meringue pie seems to have a power with childhood memories, as I use dto make it with my grandmother.
The kids seem to have a lot of fun baking it. I hope they are doing better now! I didn't like the crust nor the lemon filling!

Tempered Woman said...

Wow~ lemon meringue at 12! You're a pro by now. Congrats on the challenge- I also love sharing cooking with my daughter. Makes the eating part that much more enjoyable.

Emiline said...

Oh, that's sweet that your kids helped you! Do you think they'll turn out to be bakers?

I think your pie looks delish. I've read about other people having problems with the crust.

DaviMack said...

You know, it seems quite a few people had trouble with the crust, myself included. I think that there should have been some instruction about adding more water or withholding most of the water, depending on your flour and what the dough needs. Really - mine was sopping wet, and I ended up adding nearly a cup more flour than was called for - which is craziness!

Shayne said...

Big Boy – Yes, I really enjoy doing the challenges with the kids.

Thank you Deb.

Warda – I am sorry you didn’t like the crust or the lemon curd.

Tempered Woman – yes the eating part is much more enjoyable. All day DD was talking about having a big piece and in the end she did get the biggest piece.

Emiline & Davi – yes some people had very wet dough and I has very dry dough and letting it set in the fridge did not help it enough. I had to trash the first and start all over and it was still a wee bit too dry. I think my flour is very dry do to the heat and dry winter we are having in Michigan.

Christine said...

Shayne - How adorable your children look with their aprons? :)
By the way, how did this curd compare to the one you made for our tea?

Shayne said...

Christine - I think the one that I used for the lemon curd is a little better when you take into account the ingredients, thecnique, taste and textur. I have a fe others that I use often also. We are a huge lemon curd family, so much so it is in at least 1/2 of the desserts I make.

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

How special to include your children in this month's challenge and create more memories. Your pie looks great.

Deborah said...

What great memories! Your pie looks wonderful!

DawnsRecipes said...

The pie looks great, and the crust is just beautiful!

lina said...

Great job! It looks wonderful to cook with the children too.They look so concentrated, knowing they are part of the making of the pie..

Dolores said...

I *know* that you're creating memories they'll carry with them throughout their lives. And I love watching, vicariously. The three of you did a *great* job with the January challenge.

Claire said...

That meringue is BEAUTIFUL! What a wonderful memory and something to pass on to your kids.

Anonymous said...

Such cute kiddos!

creampuff said...

What a sweet memory of baking as a child! I love hearing stuff like that. Beautiful pie!